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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

Their political aims were covered up under the mild terms,
ammonire, ammonisione, which denoted a warning, given to
an active citizen and generally to a citizen in one of the
lower classes, that he was suspected to be a Ghibelline and
that until he cleared himself (for which the word chiarire
was used) he could not safely accept an office.
These admonitions and laws aiming at their control appear
from time to time down to the year 1378.*    In 1353 the two
families of popolani, the Albizzi and Ricci, who xvere at the
head of the Guelphic party, broke out into a feud, and thence-
forth the latter seemed to aim at a milder and more popular
course than the other.    In 1366 Uguccione de' Ricci caused
a law to be passed which increased the number of the Guelphic
captains to nine, of whom two were to be grandi, five popo-
lani and two from a lower guild.    Two-thirds were necessary
to try a person declared to be a Ghibelline, and a board of
twenty-four citizens was appointed to hear an admonished
person in his defence.   Two-thirds of the nine captains and
the twenty-four, or twenty-two in all, were necessary for his
condemnation.    In 1377 the " fury of ammonisione" as it has
been called, raged with especial violence. Eighty-seven instan-
ces of it belong to the nine months before July, 1378. Through
these years the tyranny of this Guelphic party was intolerable,
not because they put their foes to death or sent them into
banishment, but because they determined by irresponsible tri-
bunals who should have political rights in the state.   A divieto
or exclusion from office of this kind, as Capponi remarks (ii,, 2),
" might not be regarded as a thing equal to the terror it in-
spired and to the effects which followed from it.    But public
life had so entered into the very marrow of this people that not
to have a share in the state seemed like being nothing/'
In 1378, occurred the "tumult of the ciompi," or lower
"the ci- class, for which there were various causes : the
jealousy between the upper and lower guilds;
the dissatisfaction of the  operatives with their wages,  the
* More than two hundred were admonished between i7 and 1366.
Macchiav. Hist, book iiu, 369, Milan ed. 1804.